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Fri, Jan 16, 2004

Piper Intro's 20th Anniversary Malibus

Mirage And Meridian Now Offered With Commemorative Packages

New Piper Aircraft has introduced special 20th anniversary models of the company's flagship aircraft, the Malibu Mirage and the Malibu Meridian, to celebrate the significant innovations these models have brought to New Piper as well as the general aviation industry as a whole.
"These models continue unchallenged in their niche," said New Piper President and CEO Chuck Suma. "The Malibu was Piper's first pressurized, cabin-class, single-engine aircraft, and the Mirage and the Meridian are proud inheritors of that legacy."

When the Malibu was first designed, it was not intended to be an enhanced version of an existing model, but rather a totally new airplane. The primary goals were passenger comfort and supreme performance. It was also the first Piper model to be made with flush riveting and metal bonding to provide a sleek, smooth exterior body.

The Malibu was the first pressurized, single-engine, six-place aircraft to provide volume production of a clamshell entrance in the rear for passengers and seating equal in size and comfort to the cockpit - qualities previously found only in private jets. The aircraft was also known for its unique package of features, in that it cruised at 200 kts, climbed to 25,000 feet, maintained a range of 1,000 nm and was certified for Flight Into Known Icing.

"The Piper Malibu was a revolutionary, clean-sheet design with a long, thin wing, giving a high cruising speed and great fuel efficiency," said Roger W. Peperell, internationally renowned Piper Aircraft historian and author of the book Piper Aircraft: The Development and History of Piper Designs. "For the first time, pilot and passengers experienced luxury and space in a pressurized, single-engine airplane. This was the beginning of a whole new family of sleek airplanes for Piper."

He also explained that "it took three years of study and dedication to get the first Malibu into the air, but this pressurized, six-place, single-engine aircraft provides the creature comforts and amenities of many small business jets, but for a fraction of the price and operating cost."

Four years later, the Malibu Mirage was released, sporting an improved 350 HP engine. It still boasted a "cabin-class" design and a price tag that made it the affordable alternative to private jets - a tradition that continues with the current model.

In 2000, the FAA certified the Malibu Meridian, New Piper's first single-engine turboprop, with a 500 SHP engine and all-glass cockpit. This model revolutionized general aviation by opening the door for single-engine aircraft to use Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHARS) in place of gyros.

In keeping with the Malibu tradition, the Meridian also introduced state-of-the-art features that to this day give pilots advanced capabilities while remaining user-friendly. These features include single-lever control that optimizes aircraft performance by automatically adjusting throttle and prop action to meet pilots' requirements and enhanced performance at new higher altitudes - i.e., 260 kts at 30,000 feet.

These new Malibu Mirage and Malibu Meridian 20th anniversary editions will feature commemorative paint schemes inside and out. In the interiors of each model, the newly designed, commemorative 20th anniversary logo will be featured on each of the leather seats. On the exterior, the logo will be placed beside the last window. In addition, each aircraft will feature a threshold plate that also sports the commemorative logo. Moreover, significant discounts are being offered on special anniversary option packages. New Piper is also giving new owners of these models a special package of customer accessories and gifts.

"We looked back at the most-ordered options for these models and bundled them," said Molly Martin Pearce, Director of Sales and Marketing. "The option packages represent the most-desired avionics suites for both the U.S. and international markets. For the U.S. market, an optional package for a Mirage will feature the Meggitt Magic Single Side EFIS System, the Honeywell Integrated Hazard Avoidance System (IHAS 8000), Flight Information System (FIS weather data link) and a second GTX 330 Transponder, all at a substantial savings."

Malibu Meridian and international customers also receive savings on similar packages designed to meet their market niche. For example, the ADF and DME navigational units are more suitable for international buyers, whereas Meridian buyers currently receive the Meggitt Magic EFIS system as standard. Piper will offer an optional 20th anniversary special edition avionics package that will best suit a Meridian or international buyer.

"Quality, safety and performance have long been the hallmarks of the PA46 family of aircraft," said Suma. "In 1984, they were the best value for the dollar, and that tradition continues with the 20th anniversary editions of the Malibu Mirage and the Malibu Meridian."

FMI: www.newpiper.com


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